Archive - June 24, 2013

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Peace Corps Returns To Colombia – An OIG Report
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Review of Broughton Coburn's (Nepal 1973-75)The Vast Unknown

Peace Corps Returns To Colombia – An OIG Report

In September of 1961, Colombia welcomed the first Peace Corps Volunteers to Latin America. Colombia I was the first Peace Corps group to enter training and the second group, after Ghana I, to actually arrive in-country. Peace Corps closed out Colombia in 1981 because of safety and security concerns; not to return for almost  thirty years. Ironically, Ghana is the country with the longest continuing Peace Corps presence; and,  the return of Peace Corps to Colombia bridges the longest gap  between Peace Corps programs of any country. The Office of the Peace Corps Inspector General is now charged with program evaluation. This then is their report of the  Return to Colombia of the Peace Corps. The text to link to is:http://files.peacecorps.gov/multimedia/pdf/policies/PCIG_Colombia_Evaluation_Report.pdf I especially urge Colombian RPCVS, serving Colombian Volunteers and those of you who have seen your countries close or have served in a reopened country to read this report. . . .

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Review of Broughton Coburn's (Nepal 1973-75)The Vast Unknown

The Vast Unknown: America’s First Ascent of Everest by Broughton Coburn (Nepal 1973-75) Crown Publishers (a division of Random House). $26.00 300 pages 2013 Reviewed by Don Messerschmidt (Nepal 1963-65) This is a book of true high adventure. Good reading for those of us who like outdoor adventures and severe challenges. This book is full of them, start to finish. Just a little past half way along, the story of the 1963 American Mount Everest Expedition reaches a dramatic climax, of sorts. On May 22, 1963, standing ready to challenge the peak from a point high on the ridge, the two American climbers, Hornbein and Unsoeld, faced a strategic decision. “Favorable luck, strange omens, obstacles, and argument be damned,” they thought. “The dazzling, vast unknown¾a key threshold to the uncertainty… was beckoning them forward and upward.” This “was no longer an academic exercise,” writes Brot Coburn, this was a decision . . .

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